M2 Final Review Photos.
The M2 design semester provides an opportunity to use the architectural project as a vehicle for speculation into the potential for architecture to help form and question a society's processes and intellectual aspirations. While it is always valued as a moment for research into the limits of inspiring architectural form, it is also an opportunity to undertake a detailed design proposal for a building or public space using the skills, tools and attitudes specific to the domain of architecture.Download pdf (95kb) of course outline.
2.0 Overall Project Objectives and Content:
The final project for this term must propose either a building or an urban design. For the purposes of the M2 semester the implied building/urban design must be developed both with respect to its exterior form and its interior spaces. A key aspect of architecture and urban design (as opposed to other art forms) is that they can give shape to spaces we might occupy both as individuals and a society, during particular exceptional moments and over the course of everyday life.
The architectural translation of thesis research must involve the use and production of orthographic representations (drawings) to an appropriate scale. These must include plans, sections and elevations drawn to scale. In addition, work can be developed and presented using any other media seen as appropriate or as complementing the overall objectives of the project. These media could encompass a variety of techniques both real and virtual ranging from traditional hand drawing to complex computer modeling. Real models exploring materials and their assembly can also be included.
An important aspect of any architectural proposition is a clear understanding of its program and how that program must be accommodated for in terms of spatial and functional organization. Despite this it is understood that resolving a program, in and of itself, doesn't represent a thesis proposition in M2. Work completed in M2 must also respond to the issues set up during the Architecture 671-Design Research and Methodology (DRM) course completed the previous semester. M2 isn't a course in analysis and the collection of data. M2 is about putting analysis, information and beliefs into a process whereby buildings and/or urban spaces are proposed. Furniture design, the making of films, sculpture, painting, poetry, digital environments and other creative activities may also be undertaken during the M2 semester but they do not replace the fundamental requirement to produce a building proposition in a manner that uses the tools and attitudes unique to the discipline of architecture.
Each project must demonstrate (as a minimum) the following:
1. A comprehensive understanding of the architectural design process. This understanding must include not only the complete and detailed design of the stated building project or urban space but also its representation in architecturally related media (orthographic drawing, perspective views, models (real and virtual).
2. The systematic development of an idea over time. In other words the final project must clearly be the result of a semester's worth of studied development. While it is understood that architectural design is a process of informed evolution over time and hence not always linear, it is equally clear that for this course a successful project must be the result of:
- A student's own design initiative and regular weekly work
- Participation in 4 public presentations (reviews)
- Discussions with their advisor throughout the term
3. Knowledge of the relationship between the given project and its contemporary environment. In this case, environment is understood to mean the social, economic, historical, philosophical and physical circumstances pertaining to the project's existence.
4. A studied response to the issues and goals established in DRM. As a Master's level work, the onus is on each student to establish the area(s) of research for their project and propose solutions for these identified interests. It is not the task of their advisors or the course coordinator. Students should acknowledge this fact as it represents one of the clear differences between Master's level work and undergraduate work.
5. An understanding of the implications of ecology on architectural design. While all projects are not required to structure their thesis objectives specifically regarding ecological design strategies, ecological issues may be raised as discussion points during reviews. When this occurs students are expected to have informed responses ready.
6. The presentation and integration of each project's site. Each student is required to show a detailed knowledge of his or her selected site at all times during the semester. This understanding must include, site topography, adjacent context, municipal regulations, environmental / ecological data, developmental history and the predicted future for the site in question. Projects that renovate existing buildings or otherwise integrate them within their design must include a detailed presentation (in plan, section and elevation) of the relevant aspects of these buildings. This detailed presentation must be ready and actively engaged in the design process by the Preliminary review. Existing buildings intended to be reused in M2 work must be accessible during the M2 semester or have been visited and documented in detail during the previous summer or during DRM.